Mare of Easttown: Sacrament
May 31, 2021 9:57 AM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

When her investigation takes a series of devastating turns, Mare's friends and family members process the fallout as she attempts to finally find her own way forward.

Despite some issues with everyone getting to see the finale to Mare of Easttown, the episode tries to answer the questions the series posed.

Alan Sepinwall, ‘Mare of Easttown’ Finale: Much More Than Just the Facts
TV Club, Mare Of Easttown’s finale is best enjoyed by ignoring the murder mystery altogether
Vulture, Mare of Easttown Kept It All in the Family
posted by gladly (45 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I can't believe they teased us right at the beginning with a creeper who supposedly looks like a weasel. Then that weasel-looking author shows up right after and apparently he wasn't creepy at all in the end?!
posted by starfishprime at 1:57 PM on May 31, 2021

I'm so confused about the gun. It was taken, night of, and then returned that very same night. When, exactly, did the guy realize it was missing?
posted by meese at 2:10 PM on May 31, 2021 [18 favorites]

@meese I think the old guy said he heard a noise in the shed at night and went out to look and saw it was missing. Then seem a like he kinda forgot about it but at sime time later noticed it was back.
posted by emd3737 at 2:12 PM on May 31, 2021

Did any of you see that Stephen King correctly guessed the killer on Twitter?
I liked the finale episode...the John story wrapped up so quickly I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Great acting all around. Loved the final image of Mare going up the ladder into the attic.
Two dislikes: 1. lots of framing (in both the show itself and articles about it) of Erin being in some sort of relationship with John, rather than John being a pedophile rapist.
2. Why didn't Dylan's parents get to keep baby DJ? That far and away seems like the best home environment for him. It makes me angry that the rapist got to decide who kept the baby.
posted by emd3737 at 2:20 PM on May 31, 2021 [10 favorites]

Anyone else feeling Mare should have left well alone with Ryan and just let John take the rap? Ignoring the truth like would have eaten her alive, but created a much better outcome for Ryan and his mum.
posted by Paul Slade at 2:40 PM on May 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yes, not arresting murderers is a better outcome for murderers.
posted by starfishprime at 2:50 PM on May 31, 2021 [4 favorites]

Ignoring the truth... create[s] a much better outcome for Ryan

Not if he winds up like Kevin thanks to his guilt about both Erin’s death and John’s taking the blame on his behalf. Ryan spends the entire series looking haunted and distraught; only during the juvie visiting scene does he appear to be a normal adolescent. That shows that Mare was right to give him an opportunity to come clean, repent and repair his battered psyche.
posted by carmicha at 2:57 PM on May 31, 2021 [18 favorites]

I wish the epilogue vignettes revealed what convictions and sentences John earns. Presumably they include hindering an investigation and/or tampering with evidence, as with Billy, but do they also include attempted murder (of Billy) and statutory rape?
posted by carmicha at 3:02 PM on May 31, 2021 [1 favorite]

Not if he winds up like Kevin ...

That's a very good point and one that hadn't occurred to me. When the episode's sunk in a bit more, I hope I'll get to a more reasoned reaction.
posted by Paul Slade at 3:24 PM on May 31, 2021

Yeah, not to diminish the very real traumatizing potential of juvenile detention, but I do not think Ryan Ross was on a good path before he was arrested. He was just bottling up his emotions and acting out BEFORE his father went to prison for Erin's death.

John Ross sure is the worst though, sheesh. Like, minor points for trying to protect his son from actual prison, but statutory rape and considering murdering your brother so he will not possibly rescind on his promise to take the blame. Not to mention the cover up.

I'm reasonably content with the ending - they laid the groundwork for it, it makes sense of the actions of the various Rosses, at least. Not sure all the 'red herrings' really hold up - Dylan, in particular, acted way more aggressively than his supposed motivation of covering up DJ's parentage seems to justify.

Kate Winslet was great this episode, as were Julianne Nicholson and Jean Smart. Emmys all around!

This ending was surprisingly hopeful, given the early tone of the series. Seems like people are, for the most part, working on their trauma. I'm not really clamoring for a season 2 - I feel like this sort was mainly about Mare coming to terms with her trauma, and I think she had that breakthrough already.

I did have about 10-15 minutes of not getting the HBOMax app to let me start the episode. I prefer the weekly release of episodes to the binge all at once model, but I wish HBO would improve its performance.
posted by the primroses were over at 3:41 PM on May 31, 2021 [4 favorites]

Reflecting a bit more on the series, how nice was it to see a series that was mostly about women? Not just Mare, but many of the side characters as well. Women struggling, women acting shitty, women acting brave, women being people with depth and interesting stories to tell. What a breath of fresh air.
posted by emd3737 at 4:25 PM on May 31, 2021 [23 favorites]

It seems odd to say this, but I can't help but believe Mare did the best thing for Ryan—without a doubt. Had his father been tried for this he'd have been out of Ryan's life maybe forever or at least until late in life, and if he ever got out, then with a grudge against Ryan. As an accessory he'll be out much sooner, maybe around the time that Ryan is let out. But because of Mare's actions, they will be out with the truth out, that it was an accident. Ryan's motive as a child is easily understandable. What judge or jury keeps him in jail forever? Ryan and Lori will be together again soon. With this resolution, both Ryan and John leave jail sooner. This was Mare's gift to Lor. Her very difficult gift.
posted by Stanczyk at 5:41 PM on May 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

I need to rewatch the scene where John Is badgering Billy with “I need to hear you say [that you murdered Erin,] given that John knows Ryan did the deed. Was he just trying to confirm that Billy is willing to take the rap? So I also want to know whether Billy knew Ryan is the perp. If not, what did John tell hIm while they were moving Erin’s corpse? If so, was he volunteering to save Ryan by falsely confessing to the murder or what? Or did he think he was sparing someone else?
posted by carmicha at 5:45 PM on May 31, 2021 [3 favorites]

It definitely is a show about women and their responses to their families, trauma and their work but I was rage crying at the way Lori blamed Mare for pursuing Ryan as the killer of Erin. Lori’s husband not only fucked Erin and made her pregnant, he did so with his cousin’s child. I mean what the actual fuck - incest, statutory rape, complicity in her murder and multigenerational harm.

But it’s Mare’s fault for finding out the truth.

I wish some character had pointed out this obvious thing John did outside the patriarchal vibe of ‘women defending the truth ruined a family’ - a family that was ruined by a guy fucking a young, already traumatised family member.

John was not an addict, he was not covered by some kind of narrative hurt that led to this child’s death. He was a bored middle aged married man - he admits it - and he fucked a kid out of his boredom. A kid with a child, a kid whose clothes were taken from her dead body and her naked body dumped in a stream.

The murderer being Ryan is another part of the -I guess - metaphor, of how much a patriarchal society will internalise the misogyny of middle age white man’s lives being ‘ruined’ by their own decisions to fuck people they shouldn’t be fucking.
posted by honey-barbara at 6:06 PM on May 31, 2021 [7 favorites]

I'm surprisingly satisfied with the ending and with whodunnit.

One thing I realized is that this plot could only work in the USA. Every other developed country has universal health care for infants so their mothers don't have to save up and beg people for money for an operation. (Not to mention not keeping loaded firearms where they can be found and used by children.)
posted by monotreme at 6:28 PM on May 31, 2021 [17 favorites]

I found the finale really satisfying too, especially that it centered Mare's relationship with Lor. Julianne Nicholson gave an amazing performance through the entire episode.

There are still parts of the plot that I find confusing, but nothing more than John and Billy moving the body back to Easttown. Why not just leave Erin's body in Brandywine Park? Why would you bring the body back to where everyone knows you? I mean, they're not rocket scientists, but still.

Agreed that the show sort of glosses over how great John's betrayal of his family was, immediate and extended. I even sort of felt horrible for Kenny -- he also has no one now. His closest family conspired to keep his daughter's murder a secret, and they're raising his grandson now.

As much as I hated the planted drugs storyline, I really liked the final scene with Mare and Carrie at the custody hearing.

I'm also about 80% sure that I've eaten in the restaurant where Mare confronts Sandra Elliot.
posted by gladly at 8:17 PM on May 31, 2021 [5 favorites]

rage crying at the way Lori blamed Mare for pursuing Ryan as the killer of Erin

I think that was the shock of her initial reaction, though. We saw that she came around.

I also think we are supposed to question whether what Mare did was the best all around, or as Paul Slade said, [should Mare] "have left well alone with Ryan and just let John take the rap?" John was obviously the worst of the worst and should have rotted. He should have taken the rap for Ryan in payment for ALL his sins--cheating five years ago, raping a 15-year-old relative, saddling his son with an awful secret, persuading Billy to take the fall for murder and then nearly killing him (??) when he doubted Billy would go through with it. Ryan, on the other hand, was far too young to be genuinely culpable; he had been traumatized by his dad's behavior; and the killing itself, we are to believe, was not intentional. I think it's perfectly believable that Lor would try to protect her son--I'd probably do the same, if those were the two males in my family and I had to choose between them.

I also ALSO think that Mare's/the show's conclusion is correct (even though it's awful to see Ryan headed into a penitentiary system that we know (IRL) is fucked up). Because Ryan was clearly not going to be able to deal well with containing that secret guilt, and the show had already gone to lengths to demonstrate what secrets and guilt, especially passed from generation to generation, can do to people.

I think that Lori recognized that by the end. There are lots of parallels between her and Mare
by that point--each has lost a son and a husband but still has a younger daughter, each is raising a grandchild who has sort of ghastly parent issues. The multi-generational scaffolding of the show is so interesting.

Completely agree with emd3737:
It makes me angry that the rapist got to decide who kept the baby.

...not only is it completely fucked up that DJ would be raised in a family in which his brother had killed his mother, who had been cousin-once-removed to his father, who had raped her and later stripped her dead body and thrown it naked in a creek (!!!)--not only that stuff--but there was another loving set of parents, completely innocent of all that drama, wanting to take care of DJ! I mean whatever happened to Dylan's parents, anyway?

That's really the only point in the whole show at which I find fault with Lor. She owed John NOTHING and should have told him to go to hell, and then she should have let the baby remain with the loving parents who had already been caring for him.
posted by torticat at 8:31 PM on May 31, 2021 [8 favorites]

As an accessory [John will] be out much sooner... Ryan and Lori will be together again soon. With this resolution, both Ryan and John leave jail sooner. This was Mare's gift to Lor. Her very difficult gift.

Well, John isn't just an accessory, he's also a rapist and guilty of attempted murder (Billy), at the very least. I don't he's getting out any time soon. Also, John's release would be NO gift to Lori! Good lord. Hopefully Mare's gift to Lor is that she works with the DA to throw the book at that man.
posted by torticat at 8:44 PM on May 31, 2021 [3 favorites]

The writers played fast and loose with red-herring Dylan. Yes, we can have empathy for his parents, who seem like nice people, and have now lost a grandbaby they thought was theirs. (Echoes of Mare's custody fight.) But they went way overboard showing Dylan being a bad guy, to suddenly backtrack in the last episode.

I knew John was enough of a sleaze that he was somehow involved. Man, what a mess. All the adults in that family covering for that kid. I'm pretty sure at one point I did wonder about Ryan.

I thought that Mare would invite Carrie stay with them after rehab. To me, that would've been going the full circle of forgiveness. Instead the end focus was on the parallels between the two friends and their sons.

I've been critical of the writing on this show, but damn, acting, like Kate Winslet's face before she arrested the kid.

Lori: "My whole family is gone because of you." I had noticed that the daughter was AWOL several episodes, even Lori forgot she had her!

The priest was an idiot for leaving a still-teen girl at a park after midnight. I sure as heck wouldn't want him in my parish.

And I'll repeat - this town. Mare's high school daughter stays out overnight, a middle school boy is riding his bike to a park at midnight, nobody notices or cares. Sheesh.

Every other developed country has universal health care for infants so their mothers don't have to save up and beg people for money for an operation.

As an American who's dealt with this system for decades, I've wondered how people in other countries react to such plots.
posted by NorthernLite at 8:48 PM on May 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

Hmmm, following up on earlier comment--I guess another thing Lori should be faulted for is agreeing with John to let Billy take the fall. I forgot about that part, and it's fucked up. I don't think we know, though--did John come completely clean with her that morning before the fishing trip? Or did he maybe admit that Ryan had killed Erin, but tell her Billy was the father?

I think we are to understand that John told Lori everything that morning. Might have been hard for him to sell the story that Ryan had killed in order to protect Billy. It's an odd thing to leave ambiguous, though.

If Lori did know everything, her actions after were really unforgivable. Letting her guilty AF husband take the fall for the only awful thing he didn't do is one thing; implicating her completely innocent brother-in-law is different.

I mean even if John told her Billy had volunteered to falsely confess--IF she knew John was the father, she should have said, Hell no, YOU cover for Ryan, you started all this with your cheating raping incest, and now you've fucked up both Ryan and me, and you want to fuck over your brother too?
posted by torticat at 11:29 PM on May 31, 2021 [2 favorites]

As an American who's dealt with this system for decades, I've wondered how people in other countries react to such plots.

Speaking as a Brit, I'd say we're familiar enough with America's shortcomings in both healthcare and gun control to take plots like that in our stride. We get so much American material over here - not just movies and TV, but popular music, news coverage and novels too - that we tend to learn a lot more about your culture than US media allows you to learn about ours. It can lead to a somewhat arrogant over-confidence on our part sometimes, as this broad-brush knowledge often convinces us we know more about the nuances of American life than we really do.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:14 AM on June 1, 2021 [7 favorites]

Why not just leave Erin's body in Brandywine Park? Why would you bring the body back to where everyone knows you?

They hoped to steer the investigation towards the Easttown teenagers who regularly hung out at the other park. It worked, for awhile.
posted by carmicha at 5:14 AM on June 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

I thought the acting was great and liked that it was a show focused on women -- especially a female cop, but I hated the writing. It was cheap and manipulative at every turn, constantly eating its cake and having it too.

Lori: "My whole family is gone because of you."

They seem to have forgotten to charge Lori as an accessory after the fact, no?

As an American who's dealt with this system for decades, I've wondered how people in other countries react to such plots.

A good way to examine this is to watch foreign cop shows and "marvel" or be creeped out by how their justice systems work.

Good examples of this are Fatih Akin's In the Fade, with court scenes that which will enrage you, or Warrior or The Investigation, both Danish, which reveal rather puzzling hoops that investigators have to deal with. Yes, these are legal issues and you were talking about medical issues, but I still think it's interesting to see how different systems affect plots in unexpected ways.
posted by dobbs at 5:28 AM on June 1, 2021 [4 favorites]

They hoped to steer the investigation towards the Easttown teenagers who regularly hung out at the other park. It worked, for awhile.

Though you're correct... no one thinks like that, do they? I just think this is another example of the writers doing something for the sake of plot / red herrings rather than creating three dimensional characters who behave accurate to their nature.

You live in a town that's famous for a teen girl disappearing and never being found and you "accidentally" kill a teenage girl and your first instinct isn't to bury the body so it's never found but to transport it needlessly and put it out in the open in the hopes that it just frames some random person? Seems ludicrous unless you're the writer on a tv show.
posted by dobbs at 5:34 AM on June 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

One element of the casting and writing that I appreciated is that Moira, Lori and John's daughter, is presented as a person with Down Syndrome, without that being a plot point or a topic of conversation among the characters. Kassie Mudhenk, the actress playing Moira, hails from Bucks County which is north of Philadelphia.
posted by carmicha at 6:37 AM on June 1, 2021 [15 favorites]

Every other developed country has universal health care for infants so their mothers don't have to save up and beg people for money for an operation.

Funding the ear surgery was actually a plot point that annoyed me, because it's a rich person's idea of how healthcare works for poor people. While the U.S. healthcare system is a horrible system, Erin had adults in her life who could have helped her register DJ for CHIP. PA has this expanded medicaid program. Erin technically still qualified for it herself.
posted by gladly at 6:59 AM on June 1, 2021 [12 favorites]

Funding the ear surgery was actually a plot point that annoyed me, because it's a rich person's idea of how healthcare works for poor people.

Same! Presumably her pediatrician's office (or ENT) could have helped with this. There's no reason he should be on a high-deductible plan.
(but, otherwise, really liked this show & super impressed with Kate Winslet's acting!!)
posted by n. moon at 10:31 AM on June 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

I was left wondering why Lor wasn't charged with obstruction / accessory. That decision would have been out of Mare's hands, too.

Great, great story and acting, really enjoyed the whole thing.
posted by Dashy at 11:23 AM on June 1, 2021

i liked it. A performances, C writing and editing. four plot points bugged me:

dylan: comically stupid and evil. the weirdly dramatic burn-the-diaries bit with jess.

the kidnapper: like, what a weird and lame side plot. and zabel's death.

zabel: character was really developing. in the end, I don't get why he was there, just to be unexpectedly killed by the kidnapper.

richard: a pretty distraction. i guess life has those, so not unrealistic, but not necessary. not when you have the seven ep. limit.
posted by j_curiouser at 1:20 PM on June 1, 2021 [4 favorites]

As much as I didn't feel like Richard fit into the story -at all-, I appreciated that Mare's character had him around. He showed that she still has adult sexual feelings and wanted to pursue those, as opposed to just being Mom and Detective. It fleshed out an independent identity for her. Plus which, without the existence of Richard, the plot would have gone way too easily into will-she-or-won't-she, Does She Still Love Him, with Frank. I appreciate that they didn't go to the usual trite treatment(s) of a divorced relationship.

Basically, men-centered shows have gratuitous, plot-irrelevant women around all the time to round out the men's character. Kinda nice to appreciate the reverse.
posted by Dashy at 2:43 PM on June 1, 2021 [23 favorites]

For me the entire plot falls apart on the diary thing. The cops should have found those diaries and, if they had, the entire case would have been wrapped up quickly. The red herring Dylan subplot was just dumb and contrived. If he had nothing more to hide than burning the journals, why was he sticking a gun in Jess's face and threatening her after she'd already told the police about the journals? Where was he that night? If he really just drove around as he told the cops, why wouldn't he have told Brianna that when she first asked him where he was?

I also can't believe Lori would adopt D.J. after everything. I could maybe understand her feeling that her children should grow up with their half-brother, and/or that D.J., who is adorable, is the one good thing to come out of a horrific situation, but the thing is she's not AT ALL in the circumstances or state of mind to be adopting a child. She's absolutely devastated, but she's functional enough to go through the process of adopting and caring for a one-year-old child who is the product of her husband's statutory rape of his second cousin? It wasn't like it was even necessary, given that D.J. had a good and loving home open to him with Dylan's parents, to whom he was already bonded. What income are she and Moira and D.J. even living on? I don't think we heard anything about her having a job over the course of the show, and John's going to be in prison for years and not able to pay support. And yes, she would surely have faced criminal charges herself. I cannot see her being approved for adoption at all, honestly -- not under the circumstances.

Although the entire Ross family is basically destroyed and Colin Zabel is dead, some of the other plot lines at least ended well. Katie Bailey's back home, even if she has a long road ahead of her. Beth lost her brother, but grieving over him won't be as hard or damaging to her life as Freddie's behaviour was. Frank and Faye got married, Mare and Richard are still seeing each other, Siobhan's off to Berkeley, Drew is still in the care of the Sheehans, Mare's therapy is clearly helping her. Poor Carrie is in rehab again, but I hope when she comes out she focuses on getting securely on her feet before she tries to get custody of Drew again, and meanwhile she can see her son regularly.

This show has a LOT going for it, and many great moments (the reveal of Helen's affair was one for the ages), but the plotting was such a mess. It's frustrating that the writers weren't able to see and fix the many problems with it.

Ultimately a show stands or falls on its script. Even the finest actors, directors, and production teams can't turn a bad script into a solid show.
posted by orange swan at 8:18 AM on June 2, 2021 [8 favorites]

I am never going to get over how the baby ended up with Lor. She was not the birth mother, and the birth father went to jail. This kid is going to one day learn the truth about his parents and be traumatized by how he was born let alone how his mother died (at the hands of the family that took him in). Ugh, was there no social worker to step in and stop this?

And Lor should also be in cuffs and I don't understand how obstruction is not ending her in some deep trouble herself.

But other than that I loved this show. The ending was healing and gut wrenching at the same time.
posted by archimago at 12:59 PM on June 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

> why was he sticking a gun in Jess's face and threatening her

to make me continue to root for him as the murderer even after the reunion assault was disclosed. Maybe he did do something awful while driving around that night. Please?
posted by ASCII Costanza head at 10:16 PM on June 2, 2021

I also can't believe Lori would adopt D.J. after everything.

She undoubtedly cut a deal with John where he would take the fall to protect Ryan and in return she would raise the baby.

Now there could have been some exposition explaining how and why she followed through even when Mare figured it out anyway, but I think it's also something we can figure for ourselves.
posted by Justinian at 5:28 PM on June 3, 2021

Some points:

Richard felt extraneous, but I think that was the whole point. Whenever she says, “look, I can't really get involved with you right now because things are too crazy,” his role is to give her the upside of companionship without creating any explicit or implicit expectations. That feels like exactly what Mare needs, aside from the therapy that she eventually does get. He says kind things, he appreciates whatever time she can give him, and he's an outsider who reminds her that a more emotionally healthy world exists outside of this fucked-up town.

Dylan really did change from episode to episode, and on a longer show I'd have blamed some sort of tug-of-war between writers of various episodes trying to bend him back and forth to fit whatever a particular episode needed. But the same dude wrote all the episodes! Everything else is tied up so neatly that it really stands out how bizarre his whole subplot is.

On paper, Lori could've been arrested and charged with something. But the fact that Tony Del Rasso was apparently able to get away with stalking and harassing Mare — and throwing a milk jug through her front window — demonstrated this community's laissez-faire approach to enforcement of the criminal codes.

Colin was an absolute blank slate of a character and had the emotional texture of corrugated cardboard. No disrespect to Evan Peters; it's just how the role was written. His purpose is to give Mare someone to talk to for five episodes, and then to fuck off with nobody around to grieve for him except his mother. I know he probably had never fired his weapon before, but the story did him wrong by making him so oblivious as to wait to draw his gun until he could be sure it was completely pointless. The girls are banging on the pipe, fucker! Do something! Do anything!

In no universe would the Ross family have been better off if John had taken the fall. Rule of thumb: if the solution to a given problem involves the creation of a Deep, Dark Secret™ that will burden several people for the rest of their lives, it is not a good idea. The residents of Easttown are the sorts of people who would rather conceal a festering wound for the rest of their lives than just go to the hospital. They act as though they can pay the trauma off in monthly installments, but the concealment itself means that the installments don't even cover the interest, much less make any dent in the principal. I swear I spotted Brené Brown trying to hitch a ride on the I-95 shoulder, muttering something about how some people are just impossible to help.

Mr. Carroll is the best character because he decides to confess his long-ago fling with Helen. Yes, it's played for laughs, but it might be the only confession on this show that has any redemptive value, because it's not the act of someone who has to confess because he's been found out.

Anyway: yes, it was a bit uneven. But I appreciate that it wasn't trying to go full “everyone's an antihero, bad shit happens and then everyone dies” the way it really could've. A bunch of bad shit happens in a year, but the town is in much better shape at the end than at the beginning, and it gives the show a clear confess-your-sins thrust without quite beating you over the head with it.

It's mentioned plenty of times, but I am astonished that we never actually saw a Wawa on screen. That must've taken some restraint.
posted by savetheclocktower at 6:40 PM on June 3, 2021 [7 favorites]

PRINTED PHOTOS? what teenager in this day and age had printed photos
posted by Hypatia at 7:51 PM on June 4, 2021 [7 favorites]

Wouldn't Mare face some ongoing legal ramifications for killing Mr Potts when she wasn't technically a cop? With a dead cop's weapon, no less.
posted by tristeza at 2:51 PM on June 6, 2021

Wouldn't Mare face some ongoing legal ramifications for killing Mr Potts

The rapist kidnapper who’d just murdered her partner and was actively attempting to murder her when she shot him? Pretty sure she’s in the clear for that one.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:17 AM on June 18, 2021

what teenager in this day and age had printed photos

If a teenager intends to use a photo as hard evidence for a blackmail scheme, then yes, she'd have it printed.
posted by orange swan at 4:46 AM on June 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

This was great and I need another few episodes of Kate Winslet and Jean Smart going at it.
posted by jquinby at 9:18 PM on July 9, 2021 [1 favorite]

Well I'm glad that's over.

Definitely has a bit of the bad scandinoir thing, or should I say modern crime show, that's 99% family drama and 1% crime stuff, and there's missing girls, but most of all just grief porn grief porn grief porn. Definitely had my fill of that fucking shit to last awhile now.

Favorite part was Jean Smart madly playing fruit ninja knowing she'd fucked up and was about to face a little hell for it.
posted by fleacircus at 10:50 PM on July 16, 2021 [2 favorites]

I like that we hear, as a very short aside that Mare's mother calls here "Mary Anne" when she is angry with her. Not sure if that is a common abbreviation for the name. I also liked the part in "the making of" where they talk about how obsessive Kate Winslet is in her approach to detail - for example in getting the particular vowel sounds of the local accent.
posted by rongorongo at 11:38 PM on August 25, 2021

I binged this series in a couple days. I don't have HBO, but I was able to get the DVD set from the library. (Yay, libraries!). I was so pleased to see that this show was here in FanFare. I had seen the Murdur Durdur skit when it originally aired and didn't get the references, so I appreciate that it was linked in the comments for the show. It makes a LOT more sense now! Kate McKinnon is the best.

I absolutely loved all of the performances and casting choices.The Chief (Mare's boss) was excellent. All the of the teenagers (save Siobhan) seemed absolutely true to life to me. Siobhan was a bit of a Mary Sue, perhaps to counter-balance the slovenliness of her mom's character? She was the most responsible member of both her (broken) family and her friend group, she dressed fashionably and was a talented singer as well as a producer of documentaries about her dead brother. She began dating a knock-out college student, then ended up being accepted into a pretty awesome school across the country. Scholarship? Student loans? Who knows. *hand waves*

Re: American health care and love of guns, an excellent point was made that these would likely not be plot points for shows set in any other country. What really angered me though is that they didn't address that Mr. Carroll left a *loaded* gun in a shed that he knew a kid had the keys to (and frankly a good swift kick would have been enough for someone to break into). He was aware enough of creepy people lurking about that he set up a pretty complex set of security cameras, but didn't see a problem with having a gun full of bullets in his back yard. Ugh.

Now, off to read some reviews.
posted by BeBoth at 7:31 AM on January 17, 2022 [2 favorites]

There were some good performances and some good writing (and some not-good), but I’m left feeling like I just watched a seven-hour episode of Law & Order: SVU.

And don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed some SVU in my time. But I was hoping for more.
posted by fruitslinger at 5:25 PM on December 1, 2022 [2 favorites]

Just finished. I think the writing, blocking and a lot of the acting left a lot to be desired. Eastern PA accents come and go. Characters tell instead of show. Plot points are revealed in a way that reminds me of the black box theatre shows I did in college that were social justice oriented and well intentioned but written in hamfisted, unrealistic ways. I get things are supposed to be bleak in this world. The bad guys are in unexpected places and the fallout hits everyone. But the actual delivery feels like a privileged kid writing about people he just read about through research. A lot of caricature, in my opinion, from knowing eastern PA and Pennsylvania people generally.

Also, the music daughter goes to Berkeley in California, no doubt a great music school. But a part of me is very convinced the author was told “Berklee is the best music school near Philly” - meaning Berklee in Boston - and instead wrote it in as UC Berkeley in California.

I can’t believe it got the attention and awards it did. I don’t think it is the worst thing I’ve ever seen, I just think it is decidedly below middle-of-the-road writing and execution with an unbelievable cast.
posted by glaucon at 9:09 PM on January 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

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